The Quaife MINI CHALLENGE Trophy heads for Donington Park this weekend for the penultimate weekend of the season, with Nelson King looking to continue what appears to be his relentless march towards the title.

Since taking a triple win at Pembrey in the opening rounds, the Graves Motorsport driver has been the man to beat in the standings and has only failed to finish on the podium twice so far this year – meaning he makes the trip to the Leicestershire venue with one hand on the title.

Nine wins in 13 starts mean King currently holds a lead of 135 points over former champion Matt Hammond, but he also has a drop score of 57 in his back pocket thanks to his strong finishing record thus far.

That means if things go his way in the three races on the full Donington Grand Prix circuit – which is back on the calendar for the first time since 2017 – then King could go into the season finale at Brands Hatch next month with an unassailable advantage in the championship standings.

Hammond is still chasing a first win of the year having lost out at Snetterton following a red flag that came out in race three just after he had taken the lead – which resulted in the result being taken from a lap earlier.

The EXCELR8 driver is eight points clear of Nicky Taylor, who grabbed a double podium finish at his home circuit last time out before logging a first DNF of the campaign in the final race.

That race also saw him pick up a grid penalty that he will need to serve after qualifying this weekend, which will see him slip back two spots from where he ends up on the times.

Tom Ovenden – the only driver other than King to win more than once – lies in fourth spot and is only nine points further back, although he will hope for more fortune than at Snetterton technical issues in the second race prevented him from building on an earlier victory.

The trio dicing over second spot have a small buffer over the chasing pack behind, which is headed by Charlie Mann. Mann was the beneficiary of the red flag at Snetterton to grab his first win of the season and he sits ahead of Jack Byrne in the standings.

Impressive rookie Byrne picked up his second podium of the year at Snetterton as well as a maiden fastest lap and will be eager to defend his top six spot ahead of Joe Wiggin – who arrives at Donington in a strong run of form that has seen him finish in the top ten in the last ten races.

After drops, the pair are currently split by just four points.

Three solid races at Snetterton leave Alex Solley in eighth spot with Louie Capozzoli a point behind in ninth, although he won’t be in action this weekend after electing to bring his campaign to an early end to turn focus to 2023.

Lee Pearce, after something of a roller coaster season so far, rounds out the top ten, with Alfie Glenie and Oliver Meadows level on points as the ‘best of the rest’.

Others to watch this weekend include Frankie Taylor and Tyler Lidsey on the back of their best weekends of the year to date last time out, as well as Nathan Edwards – who recovered from not setting a time in qualifying at Snetterton to battle his way through the field.

Two new drivers will join the grid this weekend, with Andy Cobb and series returnee Piers Henderson joining up with Sophie Wright in an expanded AReeve Motorsport line-up.